Monday, September 30, 2019

Settle Down

The Apostle Paul reveals some interesting news concerning dealing with his flesh. He tells us, "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27) To bring something into subjection means to rule over; to take authority over; to bring under control; to have dominion over. Paul considered his body, his flesh to be and enemy with which he must contend. He brings a level of discipline to his life for the purpose of subduing his flesh, that is, all of the corrupt and carnal inclinations that the flesh can exhibit. He did this to show that he was not a slave to his body or under the dominion of evil passions, but that he is fully under the dominion of Jesus Christ. Because Paul was an Apostle does not mean that he was more saved than any other believer. It does not mean that he had more authority over his body than any other believer. Every believer has the ability to bring his or her body, the flesh into subjection in the Name of Jesus. This is not based on shear determination, but an act of ones own will submitting to God and exercise faith in Christ.

Paul also tells us, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find." (Romans 7:18) "In me" refers to the entire man in whom sin and righteousness struggle, in whose unregenerate condition sin is victor, having its dominion in the flesh. Another element introduced here is "the will." Though the will may be there, the flesh, if left unchecked, will hinder the ability to do good, which is also present in the believer. It is called "grace." "[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while 
effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." (Philippians 2:13 AMP)  

Next, the Apostle James gives us a powerful message along these same lines. "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh." (James 3:1-12)

A look at Proverbs we also see what power the tongue has, "You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth." (Proverbs 6:2) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21) In other words, you and I are the rulers of our bodies. We must let the spirit man on the inside rise up and take charge. One of the ways we do this is putting a watch over our words. Smith Wigglesworth said it this way. “If someone asks, how is Smith Wigglesworth feeling today?” I tell him, I never ask Smith Wigglesworth how he feels, I tell him how he feels.” Speaking to or making decrees from God's Word over our bodies through lips of faith will release the power of God's Word and at the same time we will be exercising discipline by not permitting our flesh to run amuck with its passions. Yes, releasing God's Word from the lips of faith is that powerful. Isaiah tells us, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

You might think, "Well God said that about His Word that goes forth from His mouth." The Bible tells us, "Then God said, let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him" (Genesis 1:26-27) To be created in the image and likeness of God is to have His very nature and character. The Apostle Peter tells us, The Apostle Paul tells us to, "be imitators of God as dear children." (Ephesians 5:1) The Apostle John tells us, "...because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The Apostle Peter also tells us, 
"For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:3-4 AMP)   

As you can see, we are to act like our Father God because believers are like Him. So, if the passions of the flesh try to dictate to you, simply reject them in the Name of Jesus and remind yourself of these wonderful words from the Holy Spirit for you, and speak them aloud through the lips of faith, "I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20) Amen...

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